Can You Cure Multiple Sclerosis
Can you cure multiple sclerosis (MS)? It is a question that would always receive a negative reply. Recent medical developments, described as miraculous, can now lead to a cure for MS. People newly diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) can have their immune system rebooted using stem cells extracted from their bone marrow. Before this occurs the existing immue system is destroyed by chemotherapy. This treatment is called Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation (AHSCT). More information is available here.
Can you cure multiple sclerosis?
Normally a patient would receive a drug modifying therspy (DMT) that would slow down or even halt the progression. BBC Panorama showed a program on Monday 18th September, it demonstrated that MS can be cured. The MRI scans of patients before and after treatment were shown. It showed a patient walking who had not walked since being diagnosed.
The lesions were shown to have disappeared on people who had had their immune system rebooted using AHSCT. It does not repair damaged myelin sheath or nerves. Instead it is resetting the immune system, this will stop the body attacking its own central nervous system. The body is then left to repair the damage to the nervous system in a normal way.
This is not a cure for everyone suffering from multiple sclerosis. The treatment results look impressive but it is necessary to be in an isolation unit for several weeks. The risks for this type of treatment were hardly mentioned. Treatment started in the 1990’s and the risks have ruduced over time. This is aggressive therapy, there is the chance a few patients may be severely unwell and even require intensive care support
The official trial
AHSCT is being investigated as a treatment for severe immune-mediated diseases particularly MS. In the UK there is currently a clinical trial called MIST It is recruiting participants.The inclusion criteria to be accepted for the medical trial are very straight forward.
- Aged between 18 and 55
- Diagnosis of MS made by a neurologist
- Inflammatory disease despite treatment with standard disease modifying therapy
- EDSS score between 2.0 and 6.0
It is worth mentioning
The Panorama program showed people who were unable to walk before treatment and not in the medical trial. Only in America is it possible to receive treatment if you have SPMS. Diagnosis of MS must be rwithin the last 15 years.
The Panorama program will be available on the BBC Iplayer through out 2016. To see it please press here.